Not Impossible, Just Improbable by BuffyCharmed
This one was a bit of a toughie. Two men whose thought processes are hard to nail down. But ultimately I like this little interlude quite well. ThExMaDxHaTtEr wrote the majority of this chapter, so much praise to her :)
Also, thanks to all the wonderful reviewers. You really add fuel to the fire and keep us writing.Disclaimer:
We own nothing. We're just messing in their respective playgrounds.
Mycroft Holmes considered himself a man of many attributes. Patience, however, was one in which he did not possess in great supply. It was what made working with his brother so difficult. Sherlock required an almost endless amount of patience on his best days, and Mycroft typically steered clear on his worst.
Oh, Mycroft knew how to wait. He knew how to wait quite brilliantly, biding his time until the situation was perfectly crafted to his needs. If he did not know how to do that, the British government wouldn't have fell so gracefully in his lap.
But, Mycroft was definitely not a man of patience when it wasn't on his own terms. The point of maintaining his position of power was to ensure he controlled the metaphorical chess pieces. There was no point in honing his patience when his name alone could open doors. He was reminded of that as he sat in the drab waiting room, really not something he would have chosen if he was head of an international ‘secret’ organization, his outer being displaying nothing but calm.
Taking an inaudible breath, he stood up with the practiced poise and confidence befit, perhaps not of a politician, but of a master musician about to play his favored instrument of choice.
Power was, of course, Mycroft’s choice.
Power to bring this organization to its knees if it failed to acquiesce with his demands.
With that thought in his mind, he took four powerful strides forward and gently opened the mahogany door, and then calmly, almost pleasantly, walked up to the desk of an old acquaintance.
“Mr. Travers. I do believe we had an appointment precisely at four. It is now four fifteen. Is there any particular reason I was left waiting, without any explanation? If you were involved with something else, I would have gladly made a new appointment.” Mycroft kept his face neutral, his tone quiet and polite; this was his warm up, before the orchestra, and his solo, would begin.
He barely had time to be delighted by the small flicker of fear in Travers’ eyes as he looked up from his book. No, a diary, Mycroft corrected internally, his eyes quickly taking in the neat and precise handwriting written across the pages. There was a picture of a young brunette girl, couldn’t be any older than fifteen, pasted in the upper right corner of the left page, Faith Lehane scrawled underneath it.
He had a moment of pause as he glimpsed the photograph of a girl in as vulnerable a position as his young sister had been. However, Mycroft didn’t have the time to worry about strangers. He had a duty to his family and the ability to right a grievous wrong he had done in the past. He knew his brother would never forgive him for it, even if he did fix it now, but at least Mycroft would be able to forgive himself.Doubtful.
A voice whispered in the back of his mind, a voice to which he swiftly ignored.
Quentin Travers gently closed the diary and looked up once more at Mycroft. “Ah, Mister Holmes, I got…caught up. I’m dreadfully sorry.”Not as dreadfully sorry as you’re going to be.
“That’s quite all right, Mister Travers, though I do hope you have given some thought to what I had written to you about previously?” Mycroft’s voice was soft but daunting, a small pleasant smile worked itself on the corner of his lips. “It is quite a pressing matter. What with custody of your current -Slayer? That is the correct terminology, yes?”
There was a slight glimmer of sweat on Travers upper lip. Good.
“Going to my brother, Sherlock Holmes.”
The announcement caused Travers to freeze. His expression was one of complete surprise, his eyes widening significantly. “Pardon me?"
"Joyce Summers' death? I take it this is news to you?"
"I was not informed-"
“Ah," Mycroft remarked condescendingly. "It was quite unfortunate really. A brain aneurysm. This had nothing to do with your line of work, so I’m not surprised you weren’t informed. She had it written in her will that custody would go Sherlock Holmes, or me if he wasn’t capable.”
"That is impossible!
" Quentin Travers was, in many ways, a man as focused on composure as himself. To see him so visibly thrown, emotion infecting his words before he could help himself, was quite a sight. One that had him restraining the urge to smirk in satisfaction.
“Not impossible, Mister Travers, just highly improbable.” Mycroft smiled slyly, “So, I will ask you only one time more. What do you have to say?”
“That what you’re asking for is impossible Mister Holmes! Miss Summers-”
Mycroft merely had to glare at him. There was power in a name, and a lot of power particularly in the Holmes name. As it was, Mycroft saw no other choice but to add Holmes to the end of her name. He would not take away Joyce’s legacy to her daughter, as Buffy might feel it stripped her of her original identity, but one day her Holmes title might give her an out that she needed.
," Travers corrected, his tone not quite as level as he surely intended, "is needed where she is. The world depends on it.”
"Is that so?"
The look in Quentin's eyes was severe, clearly an attempt to regain even footing. "You cannot think to tear a Slayer away from an active Hellmouth, Mister Holmes. The result would be catastrophic."
“And how much, exactly, are you wiling to bet on that? Because I believe you’re sitting on the very next slayer. Faith Lehane, is it?” Mycroft's gaze drifted to the closed diary still sitting atop the desk. “And, I believe she is a prime target for one of Boston's most lethal master vampires. She is by no means council raised, and you’re just waiting for her and her Watcher’s dumb luck to run out so you can have a highly trained tool in her place?” Mycroft crossed his arms behind his back.
The man looked, in anything, more irate than before. "I understand this is a highly personal matter for you, but don't operate under the false illusion that you know the world we're dealing with."
Mycroft's expression become colder, somewhat less detached. “The Crown and British government may have no idea what you do, but I am not so ignorant. And you’re already sitting rather precariously in your position, aren’t you?”
“Who..." He trailed off, clearly not expecting the direction of the conversation. If Travers was under his own illusions that he could use a Holmes' emotions against them, he clearly hadn't done enough research into the family as he should have. "Who told you that?"
He was quite finished with this tiresome conversation. Now for the finale. “Oh, just some friends. Some rather dear friends actually, who also have informed me of some particularly cruel test you preform- the Cruciamentum, I believe -and while your organization-"
Enough.” Travers shook his head, closing his eyes and seemingly restraining himself from muttering a curse. There were several moments of silence before he opened his eyes once more. The look in them was deliberately vague when he gazed back up at Mycroft, obviously having come to a decision.
Though he prided himself greatly in knowing many people's thoughts when he looked them in the eyes, Quentin was a man well versed in hiding his musings when emotion didn't cloud his reactions.
The next sentence out of his mouth wasn't one he was expecting quite
Interesting. And he'd had far more up his sleeve.
The statement was made in a controlled tone, the words eliciting a slightly surprised expression from Mycroft. He reached into the top left drawer of his desk, pulling out two ten page printed documents, before fixing the eldest Holmes brother with a raised eyebrow. "Please, Mister Holmes. I do have my own sources. Who had reliably reformed me I had lost the moment you contacted me. I did not, I assure you, obtain this position by being stupid."
Mycroft did allow something of a smirk to show this time. “So you agree to my demands?”
Several seconds passed, both of their gazes fixed on the others.
“Yes,” Travers finally clipped out, before he pulled out a black fountain pen from his suit pocket. “Buffy Summers is now out of the hands of the Watchers’ Council. She shall not be contacted, controlled by, or in any means dealt with by the Watchers Council. If requested, she shall be provided with a Watcher with neutral sympathies. She shall be provided with back pay for her services to the world thus far, etcetera.”
Mycroft nodded, glad that he was recording this whole ordeal. He was not so naive as to trust this 'watcher' entirely. Trustworthy was not a trait he could use to describe the establishment responsible for many years of turmoil within his family. For now, however, the man's compliant attitude suited his needs.
In the meantime, he would be doing some 'watching' of his own.
Travers signed both documents with a flourish and handed over one to Mycroft. “There. If the world ends because you’re insistent on taking the most successful Slayer in the past century from the Hellmouth, it’s on your head Mycroft Holmes.”
“I’m sure you can make arrangements for the world’s continued safety.” Mycroft said, another polite, crafty smile on his face. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you, Mister Travers. I hope our paths meet again in more…fortitudinous circumstances. Good afternoon.”
With that, Mycroft strode out of the office, fishing the mobile from his pocket.Legal matters dealt with. Flat is currently being furnished. Be safe. MH
His brother was on a Hellmouth after all, probably around one of the most dangerous beings, the one who was currently charged with the world’s safety, their sister. Mycroft could remark on the barbaric nature of a young girl being charged with what most world leaders couldn’t even deal with on a daily basis, but if they didn’t who would?
Mycroft saw the awful truth of the situation - one he wished his sister wasn’t involved in- but understood the necessity of it. Apparently, no one could predict the identity of the Slayer before her calling, nor could they control it. Because if the Watcher’s Council could it certainly wouldn’t be Buffy Summers-Holmes.
Nevertheless, he worried.
Sherlock was a man of science and philosophy, but this was his sister. Mycroft knew that when Sherlock cared, really cared, he could be utterly impossible. He was fiercely protective of his own. And if Sherlock figured out that his sister was a supernatural warrior of the light (a position that came with an early expiration date), and Mycroft knew he would figure it out eventually, the world would tremble.